In Other News...Sean Penn, Chinese Pants, and Katie Holmes

Outspoken actor Sean Penn is on location in Iran playing a new role -- as a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle. The Oscar winning thespian, who has been known to voice his political opinions in full-page ads in the Washington Post and the New York Times, is on assignment covering the increasingly turbulent nation as it prepares for upcoming mid-June elections. Penn, whose activism was lampooned in the puppet satire, Team America: World Police, last took on the international arena in this year's U.N.-set thriller, The Interpreter. He also wrote a previous account for the Chronicle last year, detailing a trip to assess the political climate in post-Saddam Iraq.


In an attempt to test the efficacy of the latest anti-piracy strategy, Warner Bros. released their current box office smash, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, on DVD earlier this month. The disc was released in China simultaneously with the theatrical opening in America, and despite the fact that the Sisterhood is not scheduled to show in any Chinese theaters, the gamble appears to be paying off -- no reported Pants knockoffs have surfaced as of yet. Score: Studios, 1 - Pre-teen Pirates, 0.

And finally, you've seen his wacky couch-jumping antics, you've heard his hyper-lunatic gushing, but now it's time to stop that Tom Cruise before it's too late: a grassroots coalition has formed to campaign for a liberated Katie Holmes. FreeKatie.net, a website dedicated to the salvation of this summer's kookiest celebrity hook-up, is selling shirts, stickers, and more emblazoned with the simple plea. By the looks of it, the plight is getting more and more dire by the scandal-loving moment, as recent days have seen the Batman Begins actress trade in her publicist and manager for Cruise's own people and divulge her growing interests in both Scientology and the prospect of marriage. This summer, you can support the cause by sporting a Free Katie thong while you watch Cruise battle aliens in War of the Worlds.

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